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Everything posted by OrlandoGuy

  1. ^I actually think thats pretty funny. Its obviously a tongue in cheek response.
  2. Personally, I think the Frontier Town area and that whole trail from Millennium to Maverick is the best-themed area in any regional "amusement" park in the country.
  3. ^Although I have a few differing opinions on house ranks, I agree with every point you made. Nice review.
  4. What an awesome TR. I enjoyed every second of it. Based solely on this, I am very impressed with Hollywood's Horror Nights. It honestly seems better than Orlando's in a couple of ways this year based on your write-up and photos. Obviously, having the backlot open is something Orlando can never replicate but the overall atmosphere seems so much more complete there. Also, the props in the Purge scarezone seem more violent/imposing, but that might just be because of the size of the area they're in. Also sounds like California got the better AVP house...while ours wasn't bad, it was low on scares. Plus, having that AND AWiL (2 puppet houses!!) seems awesome. I feel like as soon as Hollywood starts getting an eighth house and hitting their stride with original content (seems hit or miss with originals over there) then they may very well become the superior haunt event compared to Orlando. As for Knott's, I had heard really good things about their event and your review solidified all of them. They seem to have a very dedicated team who love what they do which is awesome. For a regional amusement park they seem to throw a hell of an event. I really want to try this zombie laser tag thing...that sounds like a blast. Overall great write-up, seems like a very fun trip. Thanks for posting! EDIT: About the smog...that looks really bad. That otherwise beautiful picture of the ocean is ruined by the brown air. Are we 100% sure that thats all pollution, though, and not in some way the marine layer of the atmosphere?
  5. A shortage in ride ops would lead to one, maybe two ride closures. I highly doubt the entire ride op staff had to go home an hour early on the night in question.
  6. WTF?!?!? *YOU* turned it into one! I just asked the guy a question and then you kept going on and on about it. You, yes YOU Orlando Guy was the one saying stupid stuff like "a valley is completely incomparable to a MCBR stop" when how would you even know if you've never experienced a ride that has vallied?!?! This is the kind of dumb comment I'm talking about when I say that I wish our members would think a little bit before they post. First you turn the discussion into a debate by throwing out "facts" that are retrieved from your anus, and then you question why it's turned into a debate? Look in the mirror pal... I will be the bigger person and avoid getting into this with you. I dont see the need to type angry things at a computer calling other opinions dumb. All I will say was that, no, I did not mean to turn anything into a debate by simply agreeing with a poster saying I can understand and sympathize with his experience lol. That never required or prompted an argumentative and antagonistic reply. So with that, I'll continue on topic... The pictures of the lift hill look very, very cool. The blue-green is a great combo. I think that after a while the RMC layouts will get a little repetetive but the side-by-side aspect of this one should make for a great experience with a lot of novelty.
  7. Don't remember saying I would freak out…all I was doing was agreeing with Genx that, yes, I can understand how a valley might put a damper on your day, considering it's so unexpected and therefore could be off-putting. I also agree with the viewpoint that it could be really cool and exciting. I don't understand how this has turned into a debate
  8. I feel where youre coming from. Ive never valleyed but I imagine its pretty damn scary. It's really not. Scary would be if another train entered a block while you were going back and forth, or if a wheel assembly exploded, or if a tree fell on a ride and derailed it, but if you've just valleyed, even if it's due to some wood issues or the coaster chucking a wheel, it's really not that big of a deal. When it's happened to me I usually do a quick visual and mental check to make sure there isn't another train heading our way, and then you just ride it out and have fun! Totally disagree. There are anti-rollbacks on coasters for a reason. Why do you think some coasters have evac platforms in certain spots? Sure, it doesn't happen as often as a mid-course brake stop, but it happens more than you think and the parks and staff should be trained for it. Like he said, they got them off the train pretty quickly once it came to a stop. Not sure what exactly the big deal would be. You're also a more seasoned rider than most people. Again, I've never done it so I can't say for sure, it's just my *personal opinion* that it would kinda be a buzzkill to valley, when the general perception is that that's not supposed to happen. Do I know I'm safe? Absolutely. But I'm not gonna pretend that it wouldn't freak me out at least a little.
  9. I feel where youre coming from. Ive never valleyed but I imagine its pretty damn scary. Its not that I would think everything was unsafe afterward, it would just be a nerve-wracking enough experience that it would kinda kill the "fun adrenaline" vibe coasters are going for. Also, a valley is completely incomparable to a MCBR stop...at least a MCBR stop is technically supposed to happen from time to time...a valley is completely unexpected and I would probably suffer a little bit of buzzkill afterward too.
  10. What if those hours are being saved for busier days during FF when a ride like Ka is approaching a 2 hour wait at park closing and they need to extend the employee schedules? 15-20min isn't a huge deal, and I've never had this issue at SF. I remember at my trip to HW in 06 they closed Voyages line 45min before closing in the middle of summer...I was NOT happy with this but it does ensure the ride op's get home close to when they are supposed to. I used to work at Universal and they would NEVER let us home early unless we 1. wanted to and 2. we could leave without affecting daily operation. So if I was closing, I would not leave early, no matter how dead it was, because the guests were promised a certain closing time, and like Coasterbill said, in a service-oriented business, the only time it should be appropriate to deviate from the schedule is to extend. If Universal needed to cut hours, they would send a mid-shift home, or thin out the employees in a more crowded area, but not just send everyone home and close early. If Six Flags really has that hard of a time finding staff that can work through school, then dont promise hours that conflict with that. Theme parks (and tourism in general) are a SERVICE-oriented industry and the priority should be on the guest experience rather than the bottom line.
  11. Um...staffing is nearly always about budgeting. If they had the budget to hire more people (that weren't in school), then it would be a non-issue. It was also stated explicitly in the post about the early ride closures that it was done because the capacity was low in the park--not only does this completely screw everyone who paid for a ticket under the assumption that the park would be open a certain amount of hours, but it proves that the staff WAS there, the work is available, they just wanted to get rid of them and shut down early...which is a cost-cutting measure. Im not a Cedar Fair fanboy or a Six Flags hater by any means, but it is definitely clear that Cedar Fair places more emphasis on the overall guest experience, which requires more money (training, hiring enough staff that aren't affected by school schedules, keeping attractions running for as long as promised, etc.).
  12. Raptor and Gatekeeper are definitely both two-toned. Tone=color nowadays?
  13. Me too, especially as that's a common thing with CF's B&Ms. Excuse me? Flight Deck, Afterburn, Intimidator, Diamondback, Banshee, Vortex (Carowinds), Behemoth, and Dominator would like to have a word with you! Ok, maybe I should have said CP (as, until now all their B&Ms had this double track color scheme). I know they might not be the majority across all CF parks, but I would say that most B&Ms with these types of schemes belong to CF (or many of them). What..? Raptor is all green and Gatekeeper is all blue......
  14. Wow, thank you for posting these! Doing the lights-on tour gives you such a different perspective. I've been to the event three times (not at 41 house run-throughs yet though lol) and I'm seeing things in your pictures that are completely new to me. I just got a whole new appreciation for the work Universal does on their houses…that amount of detail is incredible. I do have to ask, though, does doing the lights-on tours "ruin" the scare factor of going through the house? I mean, not only do you know the layout beforehand by doing the tours but I'm wondering if also knowing where things go and how things are done behind the scenes takes away from the actual walk-throughs? If so, I could understand you not liking Dollhouse…while it was mine (and several others') top 2 or 3 house, it was because of creep factor rather than scares, and I'm guessing that element can get lost after doing a lights-on tour. Anyway, glad you had a good time. The pictures are great!
  15. Really enjoyed this report! Question, though, are all the mazes the same between years? Aside from two shows, nothing new was added between this year and last year? Do they at least change the layouts or scares within each recycled maze?
  16. honestly, some of the posts in this thread are weirder than anything the "GP" has supposedly said lol
  17. ^thats pretty much the idea. Im sure most people would agree with you that $10/$12 would be reasonable, meaning everyone would use it thus defeating the whole purpose. I dont predict this becoming a widely-used feature.
  18. Great report! I never get the criticism Dorney seems to get a lot, because even though I havent been, from what Ive seen it looks like a very charming park! I always look forward to your TRs, theyre well-written and your reviews are on point and not snobby like some others on here. Thanks for sharing!
  19. If Mantis and Chang/Green Lantern are almost exact mirror images of each other, why is it that Mantis has a trim on the drop and GL doesnt?
  20. Interesting to hear Roanoke described as the worst of the event's history. I didnt *love* it, but I thought that just the aesthetics of it all put it above quite a few houses Ive been through at HHN (including practically every one in 2012). I liked the ceiling scare and some of the burn victim make-up/masks, and I thought just the sheer scale and detail in the finale room was very well-done. Like I said in my earlier review, it left a little to be desired but I thought that how it looked alone makes it a worthy addition to their lineup. I agree about pretty much all the rest (although I LOVED Halloween and cant imagine Hollywood doing it better as I thought ours was perfect...I must have really missed a great house in Hollywood). I would reccomend another run through Dollhouse though. If you have good timing, it is easily one of the creepiest houses tone-wise and has one of the strongest uses of atmosphere Ive seen in any HHN house. And I definitely agree about the lack of innovative scares a la the "old" days. However, I was really happy to see the return of physical effect gags (such as the alien dragging the soldier through the floor and the scene in Giggles with the intestines being ripped out) and the "scene" rooms (Michael Myers stabbing Laurie, for instance). I loved how HHN does those and after a few years without those things, I loved seeing them back this year. It restored a little bit of my faith that they havent completely lost their edge.
  21. ^if you had a HHN ticket, you could go right into Universal from Diagon Alley after 5.
  22. Dumb, ignorant, probably borderline offensive…what's not to love about this one?
  23. ^thanks! Timber Falls was a success for the park and brought in a healthy attendance for the 1963 season. The innovation has paid off! 1964 In the wake of the long and expensive process that was designing Timber Falls, there was a bit of a change of pace for 1964. Not wanting to break the bank again on a huge expansion, but not wanting to seem stale, the park added a simple small flat ride that has been very popular recently in the fair circuit…Wipeout! Located on the midway connecting the main entrance promenade to the Lakeside Racer midway (along the beach), Wipeout gives guests a thrilling ride that combines all sorts of G-forces for just $.60 a ticket. Here are some pictures of the new addition. New for 1964…Wipeout On-ride shot…this one spins right on the beach Also, to commemorate the beginning of the fall season, all updates will now be brought to you from autumn time at Laguna Island! It's a nice park when the leaves begin to change. It's located on the drag between the Main Entrance midway and the Lakeside Racer midway
  24. Just officially got done with a great opening weekend of HHN. Overall, I think this year is a great improvement over the last two years--in some aspects, its so much better this year that it feels like a return to form...almost. I'll explain that later; here are the house/scarezone reviews, after going through each at least twice over the weekend. (SOME SPOILERS) AVP (9/10)--I wanted to LOVE this house, and I think my expectations were set unrealistically high. My first run-through was very disappointing as I felt it lacked actors and effects. However, my next few runs were much better as everyone got into synch, and once I had my expectations in check, it ended up being a solid house thats one of my favorites now. The sets are incredible and there are some good effects. The Predator costumes are AWESOME and the alien puppets are everything I hoped they would be...the problem is I wish there were more. I know that the quantity of actual puppets/Predators is ok, but things like the static alien in the ceiling and the Predator who is always out in the open make it feel like the actual scares in this house are lower than they could be quantity-wise. However, the scares that ARE there are intense. I think after some work, the scares could get to that level of relentlessness they ought to be, but for now its a good house for the amazing sets and the intense scares that are there. (Also, can they get rid of that stupid crawl tunnel please?) Dracula (4/10)--I hated this house. The scares are almost nonexistent. The story is incoherent. The source material doesnt seem inherently scary. I enjoyed the sets and details, but as a haunted house I feel that it fails. The Walking Dead (8/10)--I thought this was a great house, honestly. The sets were phenomenal with how packed with detail they are. Now, Im not a fan of the show so a lot of it was lost on me. But the scope of it was enough to make it enjoyable to me (speaking of which, its very easy to tell this is HHN's biggest house ever). I also loved how this house seemed packed with actors--they came out from everywhere! As much as Im ready for HHN to move on from Walking Dead, I really thought this house was a star. From Dusk Till Dawn (6/10)--Ive seen the movie and the first half of the show's first season, so I kinda knew what was up. Like every other house this year, I loved the set design, the scale in this one was great and it felt very organic and "real". But the vibe in here felt off from the show...it didnt seem as quirky as it couldve been, or as "cool" as it should have been--other than the magnificent set design and scanty costumes, it was barely different from any other vampire house. Also, I thought the scares were light. Great final room though! Roanoke (7/10)--I liked this house a lot...it had a few great scares, some good makeup/mask work, a great facade/final room, and a solid original story. I also loved the gory effects and how well the actors blended into the gory parts (something that has been lacking lately). But for some reason every time I left I felt like there was something to be desired. Maybe the actor energy is low? Im not sure what its missing, but its something. Im sure it'll find its stride and improve though. It has all the ingredients of a stellar house, it just hasnt pulled it all together yet. Dollhouse of the Damned (9/10)--holy hell. This is a CREEPY house. Very creepy. The crib room is disturbing. The woman with the melted/morphed doll face furiously combimg the doll's hair is the single most disturbing and resonant image Ive ever seen at HHN since starting in 2007. HHN has been missing this kind of thing and its so good to see it back. Overall, the scares and sets were just good, but the immensely creepy tone really makes this house stand out. The amazing disturbing atmosphere gives such a surreal and intense feeling of dread that makes it something else Halloween (10/10)--my favorite house. Now, I may be bias because Halloween is a dream house of mine and Im in love with the Carpenter film. The crazy faithfulness with which the house followed the movie is phenomenal. The sets are straight out of the movie. Its claustrophobic. There are actual scenes of Michael attacking victims (something thats been missing for way too long), and pitch-perfect music cues straight from the movie. And best of all, Michael is AGGRESSIVE! I could have sworn he was micrometers away from making real physical contact several times. The hall of Michael Myers' is one of the most intense scares Ive ever gotten at the event. This is a gem. Giggles and Gore (9/10)--I had low expectations for this one, but they were far exceeded. First off, the rumors of this house being the shortest ever are nothing to worry about--the house feels perfect in length. And its very dark--theres a creepy-ass opening scene that really sets the tone for a dark and gory house...its not a fun house-type deal. Also, I felt the actors were pretty aggressive. Overall, this is a very solid house with good actors/makeup and scares, but the true star is the creepy environment its set in. Maskerade--cool idea and I like the chandelier, but the scares are lacking. Face-Off--if you didnt know what Face Off was, this zone would be no more than a photo op with a few actors thrown in. I am familiar with the concept of the show but didnt really *get* the zone. I thought there would be more of an interactive element, or some makeup effect, but it was just a photoshoot. Bayou of Blood--I personally got no scares here but I see the potential. The props and atmosphere are great. The ritual is cool and is reminiscent of the scareamonies and side shows that they used to do which was nice. I liked it, but didnt think it was overly intense. The Purge--great scarezone, but could be amazing with more actors. For such a big area, the actors they have are worn too thin. If they could staff more people, this could be a scarezone for the ages. Its still got a good atmosphere and impressive props, though. Bill & Ted--hated it. I cracked a smile a couple times but overall the jokes were forgettable. Also, the shots at Disney seemed kinda obnoxious (as true as some of them may have been). I think the days of funny Bill and Teds are over. All in all, HHN 24 is a fantastic event. EVERY house had fantastic sets and atmosphere--seriously, every single one. The emphasis on detail down to the smallest thing is more amazing than ever. To be honest, I kinda thought that the event was missing some of those big expansive breathtaking facades/sets the event has come to be known for, but I'll take the incredible detail and intimacy over the over-the-top grandiose stuff any day. I also really freakin liked the darker feel to the houses overall this year--theres more gore, less humor, and more intensity overall. Its great, and I like to see HHN getting more comfortable with letting loose and going crazy even with their new surge in mainstream popularity. Also, I LOVE the return of "victim scenes" and actual gags using humans (for example, the girl in AVP penetrated by the alien claw/the Michael Myers stabbing Laurie watching TV scene). I have been lamenting the absense of those for the last 4 years or so and I loved seeing them back. Hopefully, the gore and dark themes are making their way back for good. As satisfactory as the houses were, despite them approaching their old school flair, theyre not there yet. First off, the scarezones were understaffed and overall not anything too special. But most importantly, the event still feels more disjointed than before. The lack of icon, backstory, meaningful build-up, interactive website, etc. has turned HHN, a formerly completely-immersive Halloween experience into a basic haunt event with really freakin elaborate houses. I miss the old environment story-driven coherent HHN's used to create. If they could take the incredible quality of the newest houses, and mix it with the creative stories that defined old HHN's, I think we would have the perfect Halloween event on our hands. Time will tell what happens. Either way though, HHN 24 is a great time. There are some dont-miss houses this year, and the incredible amount of detail in each one means repeats are going to be very nice. Go as soon as you can!
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